How to Disable Apps Access to File System in Windows 10

Windows 10 allows all the apps to access your file system by default. This could mean that any app you download from the internet or from Windows App Store will be able to access all of their files such as your documents, pictures, videos, and the files stored on the Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage. And if you have installed any other cloud storage syncing app that integrates in the File Explorer such as Mega or Dropbox, then those files will also be accessible to the universal/modern apps installed in your Windows 10 PC.

If you want to disable apps from accessing your filesystem, then you can change a few settings in Windows 10. Here is how:

  1. Press the hotkey Win+I to open Windows settings. You can also click/tap on the Start button in the taskbar and then click/tap on the cogwheel icon.
  2. Tap or click on the Privacy category.Disallow Apps from Accessing File System
  3. Select the File System from the left side.
  4. Next to the category, Allow access to the file system on this device Tap or click on the Change button and turn off access in the small window that appears.
  5. Tap or click on the Off/On flip button next to Allow apps to access your file system.Disallow Apps from Accessing File System
  6. After this modern/universal apps won’t be able to access your file system unless you allow the access.

These settings are used mainly for enhancing your privacy and are great for preventing newer non-Microsoft from unnecessarily accessing your personal files. When these settings are enabled, you might have problems with apps that need access to your file system such as WinZip Universal app available from Windows App Store. This app cannot work without being able to access your file system as it is used to access the ZIP archives, extract files from these ZIP archives, pack files into ZIP archives and more.